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John Beals 1717

Generation #4

John Beals b: February 17, 1717, Nottingham, Chester Co., Pennsylvania; d: April 17, 1796, New Garden, Guilford Co., North Carolina; son of John and Sarah C Beals;  m: Margaret  Hunt November 13, 1738, Hopewell, Frederick, Virginia; dau of William and Mary (Woolman) Hunt

Lydia Beals

b: 1740, North Carolina; d: July 14, 1801, Chatham, North Carolina; m: Christopher Hiatt September 23, 1762, New Garden, Guilford Co., North Carolina; son of George and Martha (Wakefield) Hiatt

William Beals

b: 1740; d: 1814, Gatlinburg, Sevier Co., Tennessee

Hannah Beals

b: 1741, Chester Co., Pennsylvania; d: February 4, 1804, Guilford Co., North Carolina; m: William Hockett May 30, 1760, Guilford Co., North Carolina; b: July 14, 1727, Chester Co., Pennsylvania;d : April 27, 1772, Guilford Co., North Carolina; son of Philip and Mary (Glendening) Hockett

John Beals

b: July 1744, Frederick Co., Virginia; d: April 24, 1809, Guilford Co., North Carolina; m: Susannah Johnson November 28, 1778 Guilford Co., North Carolina; b: January 8, 1752; d: October 20, 1849, Guilford Co., North Carolina; dau of James and Margaret (Cook) Johnson

Rachel Beals

b: 1749, Frederick Co., Virginia; d: August 22, 1827; m: James Dicks 1768; b: 1747, York Co., Pennsylvania; d: November 16, 1829, Randolph Co., North Carolina

        After their marriage John and Margaret Beals moved across the Potomac to the Hopewell settlement of Friends in Frederick County, Virginia. On 1 March 1743 John purchased 165 acres of land for six pounds from his brother-in-law, John Mills. He remained on it for at least eleven years before 5 November 1754, when John sold the same tract on Middle Creek for five shillings. The land was sold for a considerable loss, but it may be that rumors of the Indian war that did come in 1755 impelled him to move his family farther south, to join his brothers and sisters in North Carolina.

             The records of New Garden Monthly Meeting of Friends in Guilford County, North Carolina, show that John Beals and his family were received on certificate from Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Virginia, 5th Mo 27, 1758. John’s brother-in-law William Hunt, however, recorded in his diary that on 2d mo. 5, 1755, he stayed at John’s house in present day Guilford County.   Surviving land records from Rowan County, North Carolina, of which Guilford was a part until 1771, show that in 1756 John Beals took up land in the vicinity of present-day Jamestown. Later John and Margaret moved a few miles east to the vicinity of Center Friends Meetinghouse. The log cabin that John built in the 1750s was still standing and was used as a farm shed as late as the 1940s. A photograph is in the Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College in Greensboro.

            Once at New Garden, John, like the rest of the Hunts, Bealses and their kin, became active in Quaker affairs, serving on committees and attending quarterly and yearly meetings. This did not preclude an occasional lapse from grace. The New Garden Men’s minutes for 1st Mo. 27, 1759, show that “John Beals, Senr., haveing Some time ago Drunk strong Liquor to Excess now Signifies his Sorrow therefor in a paper produced to this Meeting which is accepted for satisfaction and Hur Mills is appointed to read it publickly at the Close of a firest Day meeting at Deep river and make Report to the next meeting.” Margaret Beals was also an active Friend. In 1761 she was recorded a minister among Friends.

            John and Margaret apparently spent their last years in the home of their daughter Hannah. Just before his death. John Beals had an unusual experience, a record of which has been preserved at Guilford College.

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Sketch of the life of John Beals (1717-1796) and his wife Margaret (Hunt) Beals (1721-1796)

            We are descended from the oldest son of John and Sarah (Bowater) Beals, John Beals, who was born in Nottingham or New Garden township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 2nd Mo. 17, 1717. As a young man he moved with his parents to Maryland. There he was married about 1738 to Margaret Hunt.

            Margaret Hunt was a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, born in 1721, the oldest child of William and Mary (Woolman) Hunt. Her father was a recent immigrant from Radnorshire in Wales who had come to Pennsylvania in 1718; her mother was of a prominent Quaker family in Burlington, New Jersey. Mary (Woolman) Hunt’s parents, John and Elizabeth (Borton) Woolman had been pillars of the Society of Friends in their community, while her grandfather, John Borton, had been an early member of the New Jersey Provincial Assembly and had suffered for his Quaker faith in England. Margaret’s first cousin was John Woolman (1720-1772), the eminent Quaker minister and abolitionist whose Journal is considered a spiritual classic.  Her brother William Hunt, Jr. (1733-1772), was also a well-known Quaker minister who traveled widely and died on a visit to England.  William and Mary (Woolman) Hunt had lived in Bucks County until 1730, when they moved to Nottingham.  In 1736 they moved again, to Prince Georges County, Maryland.  Three of their five children married into the Beals family.